How to Prevent and Resolve Localised Freezing Problems in Your Compressed Air System

Posted on January 19th, 2021

How to Prepare Compressed Air Systems for Winter

Localised freezing in your compressed air system can happen at several points in your compressed air system when temperatures drop below 1°C (34°F). Here is part 2 of our top tips on how to prevent localised freezing and prepare your compressed air systems for winter:


Install the Correct Filtration and Dry Your Air:

The best way to prevent downstream freeze-ups is to reduce the Pressure Dew Point (PDP) to a level below the lowest temperature point that the compressed air system could drop to. Removing water vapour in your system will automatically lower the (pressure) dewpoint of the air and significantly reduce the chance of your compressed air system freezing and becoming blocked.

Ensure your compressed air is as dry as possible by installing correctly sized Filters and Dryers for your system.

The first line of defence in removing accumulated condensate for the system is a Water Separator. Water Separators can remove as much as 99.99% of accumulated water at the point of installation.

Coalescing filters can remove fine oil aerosols and particulate and condition the air to a level suitable for a compressed air dryer.

Dryers are used to remove remaining water vapour. Desiccant dryers are ideal for applications or installations where temperatures can drop below freezing. Walker Filtration’s Desiccant Dryers can reach pressure dewpoints of -40˚C (-40˚F) and -74˚C(-100˚F).

Install a Compressed Air Heater:

If you are experiencing local freezing with your point of use equipment and the flow of air is small, installing a Compressed Air Heater could help. Sometimes the low air temperature doesn’t cause the system to freeze, but rather creates issues in the application that the air is used. In these cases a compressed air heater can allow the temperature of the compressed air to be raised in a controlled fashion in line with the requirements of the application.

Raise the Temperature:

Raising the ambient temperature by adding heat tracing to blow-off points where equipment is used means that vent holes, valves and solenoids are less likely to reach freezing temperatures.

Fitting lagging to any external pipework will also help prevent any condensate from freezing within the pipes and prevent the problem of ice building in the system or being blown downstream.

It is also important to remember that equipment should always operate within the temperature ranges recommended by the manufacturer.

Maintenance is Key:

Regular maintenance can help your system remain as energy efficient as possible all year round, and not just in winter. The following simple steps can be taken to ensure your compressed air system is running effectively:

Check drains for clogging – if water is not being expelled efficiently, there is a much greater chance that it will eventually freeze.

Identify and repair leaks – air cools as it expands so leaks can lead to freeze ups. Leaks also waste energy and reduce the systems overall efficiency.

Look after your filters and dryers – they remove water and therefore prevent downstream freezing. If the filters are clogged, pressure drops occur more frequently and the risk of product contamination increases. Regular element change out is crucial to maintaining air quality and preventing unnecessary water and contamination in your compressed air system.

Don’t hesitate to contact us on +44 (0) 191 417 7816 or if you’d like any further advice on how to prepare your compressed air systems for winter weather.


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